Lawyer Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP has delivered and published the following open letter to the National Electoral Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of his client, the opposition leader Tundu Lissu.
The letter may be downloaded in full here.
“Since his return to Tanzania, Mr. Lissu has received numerous credible threats to his life and person, including threats of arrest from government officials and threats of murder through poisoning. On Thursday night August 13th, the CHADEMA headquarters in Arusha was firebombed and, a few hours later, the convoy in which Mr. Lissu was travelling in was attacked by stone throwing bandits while parked at the constituency office of CHADEMA’s Chairman, Freeman Mbowe. There were a dozen police officers in two vehicles in the surrounding areas who took no steps to prevent the attack. The presence of law enforcement officials combined with their inaction to stop this potentially deadly attack is strongly suggestive of government involvement or, at least, acquiescence in the harassment and threats to Mr. Lissu. As with the 2017 assassination attempt on Mr. Lissu, we are deeply concerned about what appear to be coordinated violent attacks on our client and CHADEMA party officials. These on-going attacks on Mr. Lissu raise the urgency of our request to the NEC to ensure the independence and impartiality of all processes and determinations related to the October General Election.”